April 2014

Concord run out of fuel as City end season on a high note (26/4/14)

Goals from Adam Connolly and Ross Stearn in the closing 15 minutes saw City end their 2013-14 campaign with a 2-0 win over Concord Rangers. Given that the game was the home side’s fifth in just eight days the late excitement was perhaps to be expected and meant City finished in a creditable 7th place just three points off the play-off positions. With a strong breeze blowing across Concord’s basic Aspect Arena and a hard uneven playing surface both sides struggled to produce any quality football during a low key first half. David Pratt guided a header wide from a Dan Ball centre on 15 minutes before a high cross almost deceived Jason Mellor – the keeper relieved to see the ball drop onto the top of the crossbar. Mellor then produced a great fingertip save to deny Stokes but there was little else in the way of goal scoring chances. There was no real improvement after the interval although it was the Beach Boys who looked the more likely to break the deadlock, Collins heading straight at Mellor and White firing a shot narrowly over. However, Concord’s hectic schedule finally appeared to catch up with them as the game reached its final quarter and City took full advanatge. With 15 minutes left Connolly collected Andy Gallinagh’s pass and his well-struck right-foot shot beat Butler at his near post. And the win was completed in the final minute when substitutes Danny Wring and Stearn combined for the latter to steer home his 14th goal of the season.

The outstanding Skrill South matters were both decided at the same ground this afternoon as a late penalty by Dover Athletic saw them edge past Hayes & Yeading 2-1 to grab the last play-off spot off Havant & Waterlooville, who could only draw 0-0 at already relegated Tonbridge Angels. The defeat for Hayes meant they dropped into the final relegation place thanks to Whitehawk and Maidenhead United securing draws at Sutton United and Bishop’s Stortford respectively.

PREVIEW: Concord Rangers v CITY – Skrill South (24/4/14)

The 2013-14 Skrill South season reaches its final round of fixtures on Saturday with several issues still to be decided. At the foot of the table three sides – Hayes & Yeading, Whitehawk and Maidenhead United – are battling to avoid joining Dorchester Town and Tonbridge Angels in the relegation zone. Whilst the race for the final play-off berth is a two-way fight, with Dover Athletic and Havant & Waterlooville both still in the hunt for fifth spot. However, these pale into insignificance when compared to the titanic clash for seventh place. The anticipation is heightened with two of the competing sides facing each other. City travel to Concord Rangers knowing that a victory will guarantee them that seventh position (a double figure win for Staines Town aside) whereas a home win will see the Beach Boys nick it off them right at the death. And a draw could even allow Staines to sneak in-between their rivals. With free entry on offer at Thames Road the meeting in Essex is likely to one that few City or Rangers followers will want to miss.

The long trip marks City’s first ever visit to Canvey Island as the home side bring a successful first campaign at this level to an end. Having formed in 1967 they enjoyed a steady climb from local football to the second tier of the non-league game. Understandably they took a while to find their feet at this level – winning just three of their opening 13 league games – but in November a first home defeat was inflicted on Staines Town then followed up with a 5-0 thumping of Farnborough. Six wins in eight outings during the weather disrupted opening couple months of 2014 effectively ended any relegation fears and when a six-game unbeaten run during March and April followed the Beach Boys were suddenly making a late run on the play-offs. In the end though a hectic fixture backlog appeared to catch up with the team as they suffered three successive defeats, the final reversal against Sutton United on Easter Monday officially ending their play-off hopes. Remarkably when they face City on Saturday it will be their fifth game in eight days – including back to back matches on Wednesday and Thursday evening this week – although their situation was not helped by the abandonment of the recent home game against Ebbsfleet due to a floodlight failure.

Complete record against Concord Rangers

The meeting at Mayday Trust Park back in August saw City record a first home win of the season. The visitors started the game strongly, Collins hitting the post from long range then heading narrowly over when well-placed, but it was the hosts who went ahead on 15 minutes. David Pratt was fouled 25-yards from goal and Ross Stearn unleashed a stunning dipping free-kick that left Butler rooted in the Beach Boys goal. The balance of play shifted to the Romans after this and Pratt was only denied by an excellent recovering save from Butler after he had lost possession to the striker. Concord began the second half like they had the first and this time they were rewarded with a goal, although it took an uncharacteristic error from Jason Mellor, letting Collins’ tame shot through his legs, to level the scores on 57 minutes. Within two minutes City were back in front, Stearn collecting Will Salmon’s pass before cutting inside and firing into the corner of the net. Nine minutes later a Stearn free-kick was headed back across goal by Salmon where, after the ball was deflected onto the post, Preece steered home a shot from eight yards. Concord kept pushing for a way back into the game, King twice failing to test Mellor with unmarked headers, but after five minutes of stoppage time City could celebrate a hard fought victory.

As ever in the final game of a season it is likely to mark the final appearance for a number of players for the club but Lee Howells should have a near full-strength squad from which to select his team, with just Ben Adelsbury and Andy Watkins injury doubts.

City end home campaign in style with another comeback victory (21/4/14)

City’s final Mayday Trust Park game of the 2013-14 season ended on a winning note as City once again bounced back from conceding an early goal to run out comfortable 4-2 victors over Farnborough. With just three minutes on the clock Colmer’s low shot found the net to give the visitors the lead and City’s attempts to get back into the game were halted time and again by the offside flag. However, on 23 minutes a great move involving Ross Stearn and Dan Ball ended with David Pratt heading home the equaliser. Several chances came and went before the interval then eleven minutes into the second half City suffered a blow when Andy Watkins limped off with a knee injury. Moments later though Joe Burnell’s deflected shot looped over Fitzsimmons to put City ahead. City looked to turn the screw after this and in the 71st minute Stearn raced clear to round the keeper and roll home City’s third. And six minutes later Noah Keats’ great through ball was stroked home by Pratt for a seventh goal in his last five games and 18th of the season. Farnborough grabbed a consolation goal in the final minute when Dan Bowman was ajudged to have fouled Colmer in the box and Hooper netted from the penalty spot. Although results elsewhere finally ended City’s outside play-off hopes the win capped City’s best home record since their 2006-07 Southern League winning campaign and victory over Concord Rangers in their final game of the season next Saturday will secure a credible final 7th place finish.

PREVIEW: CITY v Farnborough – Skrill South (20/4/14)

City complete their 2013-14 home fixtures tomorrow when Farnborough travel up to Mayday Trust Park from Hampshire for the Easter Monday Skrill South clash. The Romans will look to bounce back from the disappointing 3-1 defeat at Gosport Borough on Saturday and record an eleventh home league victory of the campaign – and fifth in a row – to send their supporters into the summer break on a positive note.

The visitors guaranteed their Conference South status for the 2014-15 season on Saturday thanks to a 3-0 win over struggling Maidenhead United which, given that for a while it looked as if they wouldn’t even start the current season, marks a great effort by manager Spencer Day and his players. Off the pitch the club has also began to move forward with the completion of the PRE End at Cherrywood Road – six years after work began on the stand – with the official opening due during the summer. The club also signed a deal with Reading Ladies FC to host their first-team matches over the spring and summer months for the next two seasons and recently completed a refit of the bars at the ground. Despite the fact they are still operating under a CVA the future is finally looking more positive, although a crowd of just 191 against Bishop’s Stortford recently suggests it may take a while yet to attract the footballing supporting public back to Cherrywood Road.

Complete record against Farnborough/Farnborough Town

City will hope to maintain their 100% record against Farnborough since they reformed in 2007. The meeting last season at Mayday Trust Park saw City edge the visitors out in a five goal thriller. Sean Canham was the injury-time hero, heading home to cap a great comeback by City as they saw a 1-0 half-time lead evaporate to trail 2-1 with just six minutes left. Charlie Griffin had given City the lead on 17 minutes, racing clear onto Chris Allen’s pass to fire past Bradshaw. City were good value for their lead at this point but the visitors came back well and were unfortunate to go into the break still trailing. However, after 56 minutes Connolly was allowed too much space from a quickly taken short corner and he drove a low shot into the corner of the net. Both sides pressed to earn the win after this and it was Boro who looked to have grabbed it when Bennett’s shot took a lucky deflection of Mark Preece to loop beyond a wrong-footed Glyn Garner with just 12 minutes left. City did not let their heads drop though and, after Canham had been pulled down right on the edge of the box, Griffin curled the ball home from 20 yards. Lifted by this City continued to push forward and two minutes into stoppage time a great cross by Kerry Morgan was headed in by Canham. There was still time for a Jones shot to canon against the angle of post and crossbar before dropping into Garner’s grateful arms, and the visiting players were still claiming the ball had crossed the line when the final whistle went seconds later.

Top scorer David Pratt commits to City for 14-15 season (19/4/14)

Despite the poor result on the pitch at Gosport this afternoon, City have recieved a boost with the news that top scorer David Pratt has agreed to remain at the club for the 2014-15 season. The 26-year old striker has become a firm fans favourite since joining the club last summer from Maidenhead United and his penalty at Privett Park today took his tally to 16 goals for the season.

Moment of Moore madness leaves City feeling low on south coast (19/4/14)

City suffered a disappointing afternoon on the south coast as they lost 3-1 to Gosport Borough and, for the second time in a month, ended the game with an outfield player in goal. On loan goalkeeper Stuart Moore saw red for an incident following the home side’s third goal forcing Josh Low to take over the gloves for the final half-hour. The first half had a real end of season feel to it, with Gosport’s win in midweek ending any lingering relegation worries and City knowing their play-off hopes were realistically of the mathematical variety. However, it was the hosts who finally roused themselves after 30 minutes as a neat one-two on the edge of the City box allowed Smith a simple chance to make it 1-0. They couldn’t take this advantage into the interval though, as Pearce blocked Dave Pratt’s cross with his hand giving the Romans’ top scorer the chance to net his 16th goal of the season from the penalty spot, which he did with aplomb. Any hopes of a third successive comeback win disappeared in the space of 12 second half minutes. First Wooden took advantage of hesitancy between Phil Walsh and Moore to net from close range on 51 minutes. City did then enjoy their best spell of the game as Andy Watkins twice saw efforts blocked and Sekani Simpson was denied a rare goal when keeper Ashmore turned his long range shot over the bar. But when Moore’s 63rd minute header to make it 3-1 was immediately followed by Moore’s dismissal the game was over for City. Low did produce several unorthodox but effective saves to deny ‘Boro any further goals although he was fortunate not join Moore in an early bath when he appeared to handle outside the box shortly after taking over between the posts.

PREVIEW: Gosport Borough v CITY – Skrill South (17/4/14)

By the time City run out at Privett Park to face Gosport Borough on Saturday in their penultimate away game of the 2013-14 season they could find themselves seven points adrift of the final play-off place and any lingering hopes of grabbing that final spot with need the dreaded prefix ‘mathematical’. With Havant & Waterlooville and Ebbsfleet United both in action tomorrow they could both almost guarantee an extension to their campaign with wins over Weston Super Mare and Eastbourne Borough respectively. Only Concord Rangers could realistically spoil the party but they face a remarkable five games in eight days, including a final day clash with City, which will hardly help their chances.

City will meet an in-form Gosport side who have removed any relegation worries with four successive league wins, meaning they can enjoy the closing week of what has been an unforgettable season for the ‘Boro. Having won promotion to the Conference South via the play-offs last May they struggled to adapt to the higher level and spent the first two-thirds of the campaign facing the real possibility of an immediate return to the Southern League. However, whilst league wins were proving hard to come by, the club was embarking on an incredible FA Trophy win. A routine 3-0 win over Dorchester Town in the 3rd Qualifying Round gave no sign of events to come, but victories over Concord Rangers, Nuneaton Borough in a penalty shoot-out, Hungerford Town and Conference North title-chasing North Ferriby United saw Alex Pike’s side just 180 minutes from a place in the final. The semi-final draw paired ‘Boro with local rivals Havant & Waterlooville and, after drawing the first leg 1-1, two goals from Tim Sills earned them a trip to Wembley Stadium to face Cambridge United. There was to be no dream outcome as the Skrill Premier side ran out 4-0 winners but it was still a historical day that nobody connected to the Hampshire club is ever likely forget.

Gosport chairman Mark Hook has said the money they received from the run – £64,000 in prize money alone before merchandise and ticket sales are added – will go on improving the ground and paying off debts. No doubt manager Pike will hope some finds its way into his budget though, and he has already expressed a desire to add three players to his squad with experience at this level or higher – a striker, a central midfielder and a centre-back. With a top ten finish still a possibility Pike will hope that if he can find the calibre of player he wants Gosport’s focus will be on the higher reaches of the Conference South next year.

Complete record against Gosport Borough

Privett Park will not bring happy memories for City following the dismal FA Cup exit there last season, although they have enjoyed previous visits with a single goal GMAC Cup win during the 1987-88 season and a FA Cup success 18 year later. City’s other game there came during the early stages of the 1988-89 campaign with Harold Jarman’s side still adjusting following their relegation from the GM Vauxhall Conference the previous season. They did come into the game on the back of back to back wins over Dover Athletic and Bedworth United and, with the home side still looking for a first league victory of the season, would have travelled confident of a third successive three-points. However, after 13 minutes a poor punch by Kenny Allen allowed Moran to stab the ball home. City did enjoy the better of the play for the rest of the half but couldn’t fashion an equaliser and the second half turned into a real horror show. Greening’s header made it 2-0 before Moran added his second and Gosport’s third eleven minutes from time. And the rout was completed three minutes later thanks to Davies’ shot.

City will once again be without keeper Jason Mellor as he completes his three game suspension for the red card against Chelmsford City and midfielder Ben Adelsbury may also miss out again due to an ankle injury.

City Academy on the move to City of Bath College (15/4/14)

Bath City have new partners for their under-19s Academy, with the scheme moving to City of Bath College for the start of the 2014-15 season. The successful youth development scheme, led by Academy director Billy Clark, has been based at Writhlington School in Midsomer Norton since it was established in 2009. But it is on the move, with the new intake becoming full-time college students at the City of Bath as they study for BTEC sport qualifications while also training 12 hours per week. The 16 to 19-year-olds will also play competitive fixtures in the British Colleges League on Wednesdays and South West Counties Youth League on Saturdays.

Esther Williams, head of sport, care and public services at City of Bath, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Bath City has partnered with the College to offer such an exciting programme to young footballers in the Bath area. Our reputation for sport is really growing, with applications to study here at an all-time high. I am really confident that the boys will enjoy an outstanding learning experience here, with first-class teachers in a dynamic and forward-thinking environment. This, coupled with an opportunity to receive such high-quality coaching and personal football development from Bath City, will really prepare them for bright futures.” Students will also undertake additional employability plus English and maths development at college to ensure they are fully ready for a career in the sport and health industry. Applicants will need a minimum of four GCSEs to be part of the two-year programme but will be selected through trials for their football ability.

City chairman Paul Williams said: “We are looking for talented players who could end up playing in the first team. These young people will be very much part of the club. We see this programme as an investment.” Trials for the City Academy are currently taking place across Bath for September’s enrolment. For further details, call Billy Clark on 07968 086836 or email bclarkwilliam@gmail.com.

City battle right to the last to ensure play-off hopes remain in view (12/4/14)

City’s already outside hopes of a Skrill South play-off place looked to have suffered a terminal blow this afternoon at Mayday Trust Park when they trailed Hayes & Yeading 2-1 with just six minutes left to play. However, goals from David Pratt and Andy Watkins, the latter in the 90th minute, turned the game around and ensured City go into the final two weeks of the campaign still involved in the play-off race. This all came after, for the second week running, they got off to the worse possible start, Sekani Simpson turning a Williams cross into his own net under pressure from Cox with just four minutes on the clock. Understandably this was the signal for the relegation threatened visitors to pack their defence and slow the game down as much as possible, although Josh Low was unlucky to see his perfectly weighted lob strike the post six minutes later. Noah Keats and Watkins then brought routine saves from keeper Ruiz but he was beaten on 36 minutes from the penalty spot by Pratt after City’s top scorer was brought down by Inman. Low shot narrowly wide moments later as City continued to control the game and it just looked a matter of time before they found a way through United’s backline again. However, although they continued to enjoy the vast majority of possession after the break clear-cut chances were not forthcoming, Phil Walsh’s off target header and a blocked Simpson effort the best they could muster. And with 18 minutes left a rare break by the Middlesex side ended with Cox’s low shot beating Stuart Moore to restore their lead. It would have been easy for City heads to drop at this injustice but instead they fought straight back and on 84 minutes Chris Allen crossed for Pratt to head home his 15th goal of the season. It got even better for the hosts in the final minute when a long clearance by Moore was allowed to bounce through to Watkins, who slid the ball past Ruiz. United suddenly needed to show an attacking intend they had lacked all afternoon and remarakbly created three good openings in the four minutes stoppage time. Twice shots flew narrowly wide before Cox got a clear run on goal only for Moore to produce his first save of note all game and ensure City remained in touch with that all-important fifth place.

PREVIEW: CITY v Hayes & Yeading United – Skrill South (10/4/14)

This week has finally seen several sides overhaul City as they continued to catch up with their games in hand. Dover Athletic and Concord Rangers both picked up wins this evening to climb up to 5th and 6th place respectively and Staines Town moved to within a point of City, still with a game in hand on the Romans. The final team still realistically in the hunt for the final play-off place, Havant & Waterlooville, were denied the chance of stealing a march on the chasing pack on Monday evening when their pitch was again deemed unplayable after a downpour two hours before kick-off. With City’s final game of the season at Concord a final twist to the season is still possible but before that Lee Howell’s side will need to secure nine points against three sides in the lower reaches of the table, beginning with the visit of Hayes & Yeading United on Saturday.

A difficult season both on and off the pitch for Hayes & Yeading is culminating in an increasingly nervous battle to avoid dropping into the Southern League for the first time in the merged club’s history. It had all looked very different as they came into Christmas firmly amongst the play-off chasers and eyeing a return to the top tier of non-league football. However, a run of nine successive defeats not only ended this dream it saw Phil Babb’s side plummet down the table. They ended this losing streak with a goalless draw against Bishop’s Stortford then followed it up with a vital single goal win over Concord. Three consecutive draws, including two at home to top three sides Eastleigh and Sutton United, prevented United slipping further only to then suffer a further setback with a 1-0 reversal to fellow strugglers Whitehawk. They did secure three points thanks to a 2-0 win over bottom side Dorchester Town but a 3-0 defeat at Gosport Borough in their last outing has left them in 18th place, just one point off the relegation zone. Their cause has not been helped by the remarkable statistic that over 60 players have pulled on a red and white (or possibly blue) shirt this season as Babb looks to find the right combination to maintain the club’s Conference South status.

Off the pitch Hayes & Yeading announced at the end of last month that their four year exile in Surrey at Woking’s Kingsfield home would end with a return to Middlesex next season. Unfortunately it did not mean a finish to their ground-sharing days, signing a deal to play at Maidenhead United’s York Road during the 2014-15 campaign. Chairman Tony O’Driscoll hailed the deal as a huge advantage to the club, saying “It will save us a considerable amount each week and that will go back towards building the ground, which is a huge plus for us.” He added, ““How quickly we can get the building done depends largely on how the next few weeks go. We are trying to put deals in place to bring in money and then we will know how much we can generate and how quickly.” He will now hope that at least one team playing at York Road next year will still be in the Conference South.

Complete record against Hayes/Yeading/Hayes & Yeading United

City’s 2-0 victory at Kingsfield back in February doubled their win tally over United since their merger in 2007, the other success coming at Twerton Park during the first half of the 2010-11 season. That game saw Kaid Mohamed give City a 20th minute lead with a stunning strike from the edge of the 18-yard box and it looked as this would be the decisive goal. However, with seven minutes remaining a spell of pressure for the visitors ended with Webb firing past Carl Pentney, although it was a slip by Gethin Jones that gifted him the opening. The City no.4 redeemed himself in perfect style three minutes later, rising highest to head a Marc Canham corner goalwards where despite several defender’s efforts to clear it was adjudged to have crossed the line. And two minutes into stoppage time City made it 3-1 when Mohamed raced three-quarters the length of the pitch before crossed for Lee Phillips to slide the ball home.

The match will see keeper Jason Mellor sit out with the second of his three match ban and midfielder Ben Adelsbury may also miss out after picking up an ankle injury during last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Eastbourne Borough.

Grab a bargain as prices slashed in end of season club shop sale (9/4/14)

The Bath City Club Shop Sale started today with savings of up to 25% on training wear, leisure wear and a wide range of souvenirs. Just look at some of the savings you can make: Team Tracksuit was £45.00 Sale price £33.75; Team Match Day Polo was £20.00 Sale price £15.00; Club Polo was £20.00 Sale price £15.00; Club Fleece Hoodie was £31.99 Sale price £27.19. There are also huge savings to be had on home and away replica shirts with 25% off adults sizes and junior sizes. The Club Shop is open from 10.00am-4.30pm Monday to Friday and from 12 noon until kick-off and afterwards on home matchdays. You can also buy online at http://boca-uk.com/bath_city_fc archive.

Watkins and Keats on target to lead City to comeback Eastbourne victory (5/4/14)

City recovered from conceding an early goal to beat Eastbourne Borough 2-1 at Mayday Trust Park this afternoon thanks to goals from Andy Watkins and Noah Keats. After a lively start from City they found themselves behind on 10 minutes from the visitors first effort on goal. A neat move involving Raymond, Levy and Hammond ended with Johnson netting from ten yards. Josh Low spurned a great chance to level, delaying his shot for too long after Sports keeper Ross had spilled the ball. However, on 34 minutes his cross was met on the volley by Dave Pratt and, although Ross saved the shot, Watkins turned home the rebound to make it 1-1. City were in control of the game now, as Low headed narrowly wide and Chris Allen brought another save out of Ross. The visitors, knowing anything less than a win would seriously dent their play-off hopes, were increasingly letting their frustrations get the better of them, time and again disputing the referee’s decisions which culminated with manager Widdrington getting sent to the stands. City, to their credit, did not get dragged to this level and a couple of minutes after this took the lead. Low was again involved, freeing Pratt to cross where Keats timed his run into the box perfectly for fire home. Low then struck the post with from 20 yards, which would have given the Romans breathing space, and as the game progressed they found themselves pushed back. The closest they came, though, to losing the lead was with four minutes remaining when Johnson’s shot flew inches wide and after another four minutes stoppage time they could enjoy a hard fought victory.

City announce ticket price freeze for 2014-15 season (3/4/14)

City have announced that both season ticket and matchday entrance prices will remain unchanged for the 2014-15 season. There will also be a number of deals, including entry into a free draw and extra discounts, for season ticket purchases before certain dates. For full details of the prices and to download an application form click on the link on the main page of the website. Forms will also be available at Saturday’s home game against Eastbourne Borough.

PREVIEW: CITY v Eastbourne Borough – Skrill South (3/4/14)

City begin the final month of the 2013-14 Skrill South campaign with a visit from play-off chasing rivals Eastbourne Borough. Despite picking up a single point in their last two games, City remain in 7th position, just one point behind fifth placed Dover Athletic. Although all the sides around them still have several games in hand, no-one is stringing a run of wins together to pull away from the pack, keeping City in the race, albeit still the outsiders.

The Sports have spent the majority of the current season sitting on the fringes of the play-off places after briefly topping the table during its opening month. Having spent the previous two seasons – following relegation from the Conference Premier after three years at that level – struggling nearer the foot of the division this marks a considerable upturn in the fortunes of Tommy Widdrington’s side. On a couple of occasions they have threatened to drop away from the teams chasing the play-off places – winning just twice in nine outings after their flying start to the season and then losing three successive league games in December/January. However, the responded well both times to remain firmly in the race for a top five finish. They did miss the opportunity to put themselves in pole position this week though, losing by a single goal to Bishop’s Stortford to miss out on overtaking City, Havant & Waterlooville and Dover Athletic.

Complete record against Eastbourne Borough

Borough’s 3-2 win in the wind affected game at Priory Lane back in January evened up the overall record between the sides, with two wins apiece and five draws in the nine meetings. And the last three game in Bath have all ended level, the most recent an entertaining 2-2 draw in December 2012. The opening exchanges saw City enjoy the greater possession but Eastbourne look the more threatening, as Jason Mellor was called into action three times. He could do nothing on 25 minutes though when a long ball forward was flicked on to Ibe who coolly lobbed the stranded keeper. It looked like this would be the scoreline at the break but with seconds remaining an unmarked Charles headed home a free-kick to make it 2-0. Mellor produced another excellent stop early in the second half but City continued to press, Sean Canham and Adam Connolly both testing Sports keeper Ross before Nichol’s 67th minute header was cleared off the line. The pressure finally paid off on 76 minutes as Nichol was challenged in the box, the referee appeared to be about to point to the spot but he allowed play to continue long enough for Ball’s 25-yard shot to delect of Row into the corner of the net. Charlie Griffin then crashed a header against the bar and Mark Preece fired over an inviting goal after Ross could only parry Chris Allen’s low cross. However, justice was done when Eastbourne failed to clear Kerry Morgan’s 90th minute free-kick and Gethin Jones slid the ball into the roof of the net from a narrow angle.

The game will see loan goalkeeper Stuart Moore make his second start in City colours with regular no.1 Jason Mellor suspended following his red card against Chelmsford City two weeks ago. This will end his ever-present league record this season and this fate may also befall captain Andy Gallinagh if he fails to recover from the back injury that he suffered in the first half of the Sutton United game last Saturday.

New keeper nightmare ends final hopes for City (1/4/14)

City’s hopes of ending the 2013-14 season with an appearance in the Somerset Premier Cup final disappeared tonight with a 1-0 defeat to Taunton Town at Mayday Trust Park. With 90 minutes on the clock and extra-time looming debutant goalkeeper Stuart Moore took a swing and miss at a Sekani Simpson backpass then could only watch in horror as the ball trickled into the net. In truth it was a fitting climax to the game which had rarely risen above mediocre and any disappointment amongst the City followers in the 116 crowd was proabably tempered by the fact they were spared another 30 minutes of the dismal fare. From the opening whistle neither side could stamp their authority on the game, as City tried to pass the ball around and stretch the visitors whilst the Peacocks favoured a more direct approach. It wasn’t until the closing stages of the half that either side threatened a goal, a diving header from Noah Keats flying narrowly wide then Taunton going equally close with a low shot. Any hopes that City would improve after the interval soon looked optimistic although Josh Low almost took advanatge of hesitation by keeper Perry but he could only lift the ball over the goal. As the half progressed Taunton began to look the more likely to find a way to break the deadlock but in the end they played no part in the deciding goal but will not care about that as they look forward to a meeting with either Odd Down or Frome Town in the final.